Purpose and Passion

For the past couple months I have been in a conversation with a friend about the purpose and direction of his life.  Over the past couple years I have been in the same conversation with another friend.  For the past couple decades I have been in the same conversation with myself.

During these conversations it has proved helpful to think about the intersection of where passion meets skill. The place where these two collide reveals ones purpose.  The other night I was a victim us such a collision.

Sitting in TNL Church the other night, a night when I was not teaching, but listening to a friend teach, my passion welled up inside of me. I began to feel a little sad and jealous I was not teaching. I began to day dream, I began to feel anxious, in a good way, and I began to anticipate the next time I would get to teach.  My passion revealed my purpose while I was not doing what I was created to do and stirred something in side of me.

This feeling felt strangely comforting and exciting. I have felt it before, but in a completely different content. It was at those (rare) times in high school and college when I would have a date.  I had met a cute girl.  We had struck up a conversation. And I scrounged up the guts to ask her out.

Waiting for the date was excruciating.  I would feel nervous, excited and await the time when she and I would be together again.  I would daydream. I would plot how the day would go and how it might end with a kiss. The thought of being with her would consume my thoughts and my dreams.

One time this anticipation overflowed into two dates within 24 hours. This is how my relationship with my wife started. I was so taken by her I could not wait long to see her again. Dinner one night lead to dinner the next.  I wanted to spent time with her. I was willing to shove everything else aside to be with her. I was love struck. Every moment I thought about her and when I would get see each other again.

This is how I feel about teaching/preaching.  This is how I feel about helping to inform, transform and integrate Scripture into peoples lives. And this is how I should feel about what I do with my life.  Anything less is not being honest with myself. Anything would be bland and sterile.

To determine your purpose, follow your passion.  You can collect Galdwell’s 10,000 hours of skill along the way. But without passion to drive you, push you, and excite you, those 10,000 hours will become the work of Sisyphus. Your purpose must be connected to your passion. You have to love what you do in order to find purpose and fulfillment.

What are you passionate about?

What can’t you wait to do?

What do you day dream and think about while at your current job?

How can you get a date with your passion?

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